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What do you do when your workplace literally makes you sick? Whether it’s an office building or residence, sick building syndrome is…


Getting Past Sick Building Syndrome for Healthy Indoor Air

What do you do when your workplace literally makes you sick? Whether it’s an office building or residence, sick building syndrome is real. In this condition, a lack of healthy indoor air can cause individuals to suffer from headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, personality changes, throat and lung irritation, including increased asthmatic symptoms, and more than 50 other symptoms. And while for some, symptoms disappear soon after exiting the affected building, sensitive individuals may face extended symptoms and possibly long-term health effects.

So what causes sick building syndrome? While it is thought there are several attributing factors, a large majority of sick building syndrome is linked to poor indoor air quality. A presence of mold spores, improper ventilation of chemicals, lack of effective air filtration, certain building materials, and a contaminated or poorly designed heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can all be contributors.

For those living or working in a ‘sick building,’ effects can be devastating not only for personal health, but for for financial health as well. Businesses that reside in a sick building are likely to face high levels of employee sickness or absenteeism, lower productivity, or high employee turnover.

Fortunately, curing or preventing sick building syndrome doesn’t have to be difficult. Simple actions such as instituting a no-smoking policy, properly ventilating areas after using paints, chemicals, or other pollutants, replacing water-stained ceilings and carpeting, and just properly and frequently maintaining the building’s HVAC system can all add up to make a big difference in a building’s overall indoor air quality. With these simple adjustments, everyone can benefit from healthy indoor air.


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